This is a conspiracy theory to showcase that the Italian government is deliberately hiding the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. It is part of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus.
Professor Walter Ricciardi, scientific advisor to Italy’s minister of health has explained that "on re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity - many had two or three".
This does not mean that COVID-19 did not contribute to a patient's death, rather it demonstrates that Italy's fatality toll has surged as a large proportion of patients have underlying health conditions.
On the other hand, as stretched and sometimes overwhelmed hospitals fight to save their patients, many other people die unseen and uncounted, including elderly people in out-of-the-way locations. In addition, the health-care crisis can lead to a surge of deaths from other causes that would normally be treatable. Eugenio Fossati, deputy mayor of Coccaglio say that "there are many more dead than are officially declared. But this is not a j’accuse. People died and they were never tested because time and resources are limited".
Accordingly, the number of death published by "Johns Hopkins University", has reached 21,645 by 16 April 2020.